Just Merveilleux

Life at № 42

Katy Faust’s Cult: The Membership Covenant at Grace Church Seattle

 

It’s not just that it’s an anti-gay church, it’s that dissent is simply not permitted. The document in its entirety is available here.  Note how they put homosexuality in the same sentence as bestiality. If this isn’t a cult, I don’t know what is.

 

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gracechurchappliAnd don’t forget, they want YOUR MONEY!

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60 comments on “Katy Faust’s Cult: The Membership Covenant at Grace Church Seattle

  1. inspiredbythedivine1
    August 13, 2015

    A cult it indeed is. Scary stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. epic
    August 13, 2015

    This is actually a pretty standard membership form for any evangelical Protestant church. Anyone who wants to become a member has to abstain from certain activities. Homosexual acts, pornography, gambling, use of drugs and alcohol… Some churches are changing their tune on homosexuality though. That doesn’t make it a “cult” though. There’s a whole checklist for an organization to be classified as a cult. Being a cult is more about mind-control and financial exploitation. I get that you disagree with Katy’s church but I don’t think it’s a cult. I haven’t been shunned by my church, which has a similar membership form, and shunning is also a characteristic trait of cults.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      August 13, 2015

      That statement of membership is mind-control. If I’m not allowed to disagree with something I’m being controlled.
      The level of commitment her church demands is very different, let’s say, from Catholics or Anglicans.
      You’re used to it, so it doesn’t seem drastic to you, but I promise you it’s shocking to the average European, or Australian for that matter.

      Liked by 2 people

      • arollinson
        August 13, 2015

        It’s shocking to me, a Canadian, and I went to a dumb ass Creationist Pentecostal church back before I became an atheist. The pastor would spew weird nonsense every Sunday (and several other days a week), but I never had to sign a form committing to anything. A good manipulator will never need a contract to keep you in your seat.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        August 13, 2015

        It’s a bully method. You basically sign away your right to make decisions for yourself.
        There was a story last month about an Evangelical woman being ‘required’ to not divorce her paedophile husband or face the penalty of being expelled from her church: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/31/megachurch-stay-with-your-kiddie-porn-watching-husband-or-face-discipline.html?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

        Liked by 1 person

      • epic
        August 13, 2015

        I’ve heard people say the Catholic Church is a cult too. I think it’s become a word people use to describe any belief system they disagree with. You may be right that I’m used to it, I haven’t tried to join any other Christian church, but I was raised in Scientology. Now THAT is a cult! The whole atmosphere is different. If you dare to slightly question the leader you’re not kicked out, you’re put into “ethics conditions”, which consists of days or weeks of hard labor, sleep deprivation, restricted food and water, and forced confession. They don’t even let you leave, it’s scary. The level of mind control is unreal. Even as a child I was subjected to this. So that’s what I’ve come to associate with the word “cult”.

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        August 13, 2015

        You went from scientology to evangelicalism? Thank goodness you’ve outgrown both!

        Like

      • epic
        August 13, 2015

        I know! What a ride!

        Like

      • epic
        August 13, 2015

        But Scientology was never my choice. I always knew I would leave as soon as I could escape. I actually signed up for evangelicalism. I don’t regret it though. I learned a lot!

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        August 13, 2015

        I grew up in a Catholic environment and school, and I promise you no one had to sign anything 🙂 or even do or believe anything. You get communion, you get married and when people die you go to mass. That’s more or less it.

        Like

      • epic
        August 13, 2015

        Hmmmmm. Maybe I’ll become a Catholic!

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        August 13, 2015

        No, no, no. You got out of two, now stick with investigating and observing issues on their own merit. You don’t need anyone to tell you what to think!

        Like

    • tildeb
      August 13, 2015

      I don’t know of any standardized checklist to determine whether or not some group is a cult other than the standard dictionary definitions. And the only difference I can find between a religion and a religious cult is one of size and not substance. I think the key part of the OED definition is 1.1 “A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or as imposing excessive control over members.” Take away the size requirement and we’re left with the idea that cultish behaviour has much to do with the level of control, which is the point of the post. It is certainly far in excess of any other kind of social organization and so, I think very easily and candidly meets the requirement.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        August 13, 2015

        I don’t know how many members they have, but it is a small operation. My guess is just a few hundred people- all of whom are expected to engage, and force their children to engage, in recurrent church activities.

        Like

  3. tildeb
    August 13, 2015

    Welcome to the Grace Church.

    Right here in the vestibule is the alter of intellectual integrity. Are you willing to sacrifice it right here and right now to gain membership?

    If yes, then welcome to to the cult.

    If no, then welcome to your responsible autonomy. Feel free to engage the world as it really is.

    Liked by 2 people

    • epic
      August 13, 2015

      But that’s the thing, you are free to leave. Cults don’t let you leave, nor do they lay out their beliefs on pen and paper so you know what you’re signing up for. At least in this case you know EXACTLY what you’re getting into. My thoughts anyway.

      Like

      • karenjane369
        August 13, 2015

        Suppose you signed this form, then months later changed your mind. Could you simply leave? Do you have to sign another form saying you want to leave? I used to attend various Churches many years ago (C of E, Baptist, Methodist) & never had to sign any form so I am genuinely curious. Obviously things are different in the USA.

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        August 13, 2015

        I don’t think it has any value except to convince people they’re under the power of Mr. Faust’s authority.

        Like

      • epic
        August 13, 2015

        Did you try to become an official member or did you just attend those churches? Attenders aren’t bound by the same rules, you can still go there and participate fully. For me I didn’t have to sign any form when I left. There weren’t even any bad feelings. Many are still my friends and no one was unkind to me. I would ‘t know about Catholic Churches though. I know in the Mormon church you are excommunicated for leaving, but I do consider them a cult because they don’t lay all their beliefs on the table when you sign their membership form. They don’t because no one would sign it if they did!

        Like

      • David J
        August 13, 2015

        This is an interesting discussion.

        I’m not sure definitions about ‘cult’ get one very far. The guidance from Inform (www.inform.ac/when-is-a-religion-a-cult) is helpful: it suggests that what the religious organisation does, and how any ‘control’ is exercised, that matters.

        As you say, many Baptist churches have guidelines, statements of faith, one would be expected to be subscribe to, to become a member. Anglicans, Catholics and Methodists, on being baptised or confirmed, have to ‘sign up’ to basic articles of faith in public by repeating statements of turning to Christ, etc. (Arguably as a Roman Catholic one should subscribe to the articles in the Catechism.)

        But the real difference is in the degree and extent of these statements and the extent to which one is controlled. The example here (and the form requiring a signature) – with the specific emphasis on abiding by the particular interpretation of biblical texts by the leadership – is very much at one end of the spectrum.

        I feel sorry for the ‘other’ Grace Church in Seattle, which is mainstream Presbyterian, and which looks much the preferable place to be…

        Liked by 2 people

  4. john zande
    August 13, 2015

    Not allowed to bring a law suit, I see. That’s a handy clause for when the cult leaders start raping members. Jim Jones is smiling in his Cool Aid swimming pool.

    Like

  5. karenjane369
    August 13, 2015

    That document is scary – if I’m reading it right it sounds like once signed, you cannot have any independant thought at all, & have to agree with everything that strange church tells you to believe.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      August 13, 2015

      Exactly. The emphasis on submission is extraordinary. “I understand the importance of submission to church leaders”-“I will not be divisive” seriously? Joining a group like that is like choosing to be born a woman in Saudi Arabia.

      Like

      • epic
        August 13, 2015

        That may be true, but they tell you upfront instead of waiting until you’re fully love-bombed, brainwashed and invested in the church. To be a Mormon you have to wear magical underwear. No sane person would sign up for that, so they don’t tell you until it’s too late to leave. At Katy’s church you know straight up that you can only believe and do certain things, nothing is secret. (Or as Mormons prefer to say: “Sacred, not secret.” Because obviously wearing magical underwear is sacred.

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        August 13, 2015

        If nothing is secret why did they take down all these documents from their website after I said I was going to post them?

        Liked by 1 person

      • epic
        August 13, 2015

        That’s a good question, I don’t know. All I do know is that it is pretty standard for an evangelical church and has to be signed and fully understood BEFORE being accepted as a member, and cults don’t do that.

        Like

  6. Miss Alternative Opinion
    August 13, 2015

    Since I have no knowledge about churches and cults, I’ve googled several articles about signs of churches being a cult. The part where Mr. Faust wrote that members aren’t allowed to have different views is a little worrying, but other than that this membership agreement is quite normal. Though personally, I wonder their biblical arguments against incest especially after the situation with Lot’s and his daughters that God had blessed (not saying I agree with incest, but if we’re being biblical here, and objection is quite inconsistent)

    The reality is that religion itself is a cult, they discourage independent thought, demand respect to religious leaders and figures, condemn those who don’t agree as sinners doomed to hell. And they are always ALWAYS asking for money. In fact, religion is one of the prolific money-machines since the beginning of time.

    Thank you anyway for posting this document. I’ll be a little more wary of Ms. Faust, if more of her activity seems to be suspicious.

    Have a Marvelous Day! 😀

    Like

    • Miss Alternative Opinion
      August 13, 2015

      and objection

      Sorry I meant

      an objection

      Good day again 😀

      Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      August 13, 2015

      Again, it might seem normal in America, but it looks very odd to any European 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Miss Alternative Opinion
        August 13, 2015

        It probably is odd. Americans are fucked up 😦

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        August 13, 2015

        Where religion is concerned, absolutely 🙂

        Like

      • inspiredbythedivine1
        August 13, 2015

        We’re also fucked sideways and backwards too, unfortunately.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Miss Alternative Opinion
        August 13, 2015

        This comment made my day. LMFAO 😆 😆

        Liked by 1 person

      • inspiredbythedivine1
        August 13, 2015

        Great. Love to make folks laugh. You’ve now made my day. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        August 13, 2015

        Would you do me GIGANTIC favour and write a satire guest post for me about the Genitalia Police at Grace Church Seattle?
        Checks to make sure men are men and women are women. Exams to make sure people aren’t gay. Run with it 😀 You’re good at these things.

        Liked by 1 person

      • inspiredbythedivine1
        August 13, 2015

        Will put it on my to do list. 🙂

        Like

      • Miss Alternative Opinion
        August 13, 2015

        Please stick to just attacking her bad arguments, obvious inconsistencies, and some of the wicked people who comment on her blog.

        Her church is fine. They’re just your normal average everyday bible-thumpers, who don’t question anything. They’re plenty here in the Americas.

        Liked by 1 person

      • epic
        August 13, 2015

        The people on her blog are doing her more harm than good. At first I was totally supportive of Katy’s article and agreed with the comments being made. I was impressed with Jae’s biological knowledge about homosexuality, but the more she commented, I started to see her as mentally unstable and a little crazy. That’s what made me start to question my beliefs about homosexuality. Jae’s comments as well as IMHO and others ultimately changed my mind in the opposite direction of what they were hoping for. People’s behavior can really destroy their credibility. I’m surprised Katy allowed them to keep posting.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Miss Alternative Opinion
        August 13, 2015

        Its beyond me how she doesn’t address them in private, and tell them how atrocious their behavior is, but then turns around and wonders why her blog is constantly being targeted for homophobia. Gee, IDK, maybe because you endorsed in a woman who was suggesting that all gay people are part of a conspiracy to make pedophilia socially acceptable, and your followers in the comments are calling trans* people and gay people evil child molesters and women-abusers? I hope she doesn’t read this, but how could she be this stupid! I love her, honestly. But does she have a single clue about public image or how others will take the content she puts out there?

        IMHO has privately emailed me, and when I told her that the general public thinks she’s crazy, she doesn’t understand why. She REALLY doesn’t understand why. When I bring her own bad behavior to her face, as gently as possible, she immediately cut off all ties with me and now hates me. She writes in choppy incomplete sentences, and has convinced herself that all transwomen are part of a (made up) “lady face” conspiracy, to kill and abuse women. She hates rich gay men for exploiting third world women in surrogacy business, but REFUSES to acknowledge and even DENIES that straight people are involved to. She even asserts that gay men have sneaked surrogates in to their countries to abuse them, but wasn’t able to come up with a single piece of evidence. And has also said that every day transwomen kill, rape and torture other women, basing such assertions of ONE news article of a transwoman killing another woman! Are you serious??

        How can Katy honestly support and passively defend these people, but then claim she doesn’t hate gay people? Is she afraid of losing their friendships? Is there some kind of clique mentality going on? I honestly don’t know. I’m officially a fence-sitter. I want to believe she’s that naive but its really getting hard.

        All I do know is that there are other children of gays who are coming up about their parents, younger ones, liberal ones, RATIONAL ones. And I just feel for them because now they don’t have stable members to rely on, and by the time Katy, Lopez and the rest are through, they will more than likely be stigmatized by then 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • tildeb
        August 13, 2015

        Sounds just like a sub-cult, doncha think?

        Like

      • Miss Alternative Opinion
        August 13, 2015

        More like cliquish behavior. I’ve seen it in the vegan community, online. You have popular YouTube vloggers who say terrible things about omnivorous people, even going as far as wishing them death. Then, instead of other vegans calling them out on these vloggers’ disgusting comments, they mindlessly stick up for them and passively support them simply because these obnoxious vlog-fuckers are vegan. THEN the SAME vegans have the nerve and audacity to bitch about the general public is stigmatizing them as being pretentious crazy assholes. And they don’t understand why. Gee, I wonder fucking why too?

        Its the same concept, just with conservative children of gays, against gay marriage.
        They’re doing this to themselves, just for the sake of ‘being loyal to the group’. And when it blows up in their faces, and they’re caste aside as a wacky mentally unstable hate group, they really won’t have anyone to blame but themselves.

        The way these fuckers come across in the section, makes you think there’s a angry teenage troll hiding behind their screen names. Its amazing that adults, especially adults of their age, can act like such vicious, unreasonable obnoxious children. Their credibility is ruined, and if their comments come out there is absolutely no shot at them getting sympathy from the public.

        PS: I’m vegan, btw. So that’s where that whole story was coming from. Lol.

        Liked by 2 people

      • epic
        August 13, 2015

        I agree. I think people in all groups, political parties, religions, etc… need to call each other out on bad behavior. I’m sick of seeing people defend others for anything just because they have similar beliefs. Look at the whole Duggar scandal, and Christians are minimizing it just because their values are the same. I don’t understand why people do it, but it makes the whole group look bad.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        August 13, 2015

        Do you mind if I ask about your relationship with her? You mentioned she asked you if she could use your story; what does that mean exactly? Did he contact you after you commented on ATB? That’s what she did with me, she sent a very friendly email telling me I had the wrong impression about her.

        I’m curious because in the past couple of days you made some comments about me leaving her church’s name out of this- and you mentioned you spoke to her. As an outsider this looks like she’s trying to get you to fight her battle.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Miss Alternative Opinion
    August 13, 2015

    I was a blog follower, after reading her story on Public Discourse. Of course, I wasn’t as strongly supportive after realizing that she knew her biological father, and grew up with immediate access to both her biological parents.

    I defended her on social media, because there were a lot of gay users attacking her, and I thought it was very stupid to throw out all that she was saying, when she made a few good points. She took that to meaning that like her I was against gay marriage. I wasn’t of course. I only have qualms about third party reproduction, still she has used me in her political discussion. I’m still don’t know how I feel about it, because when speaking about me publicly she didn’t seem to make it absolutely clear that I was never against marriage equality, and that scares me.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      August 13, 2015

      How did she plan to use your story? Was she going to present you as someone who she converted to her mindset?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Miss Alternative Opinion
        August 13, 2015

        Yes exactly that…

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        August 13, 2015

        Do you think that might fall into the same category as what I’ve been describing? That she’s manipulating the discussion?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Miss Alternative Opinion
        August 13, 2015

        To a degree. I’ve talked to her and brought up how gays who have kids make up a tiny fraction of the actual LGTB community, and she’s actually admitted how she ‘could’ change her focus, and gear it towards the reproductive industry, and other issues of children’s rights but also admitted that there was something holding her back… I think her commitment to her husband and to her church. I really truly think if she didn’t have those influences her stance would be better directed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        August 13, 2015

        Of course you realize she’s not allowed to have a different focus. She signed a document saying she wouldn’t be divisive.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Miss Alternative Opinion
        August 14, 2015

        Yep, you probably are right about it. Personally I don’t think her stance against gay marriage would be that strong and stubborn if it hadn’t been for her husband. If she’s part of the membership, then you’re right; she can’t make any other opinions. Oh well, hopefully when this fight in Australia also becomes a bust, like in Ireland and the U.S., they can finally accept defeat and move on to the real issues.

        Like

  8. siriusbizinus
    August 13, 2015

    A few comments here:

    1) I live in the Bible Belt, in the Deep South of the U.S., one of the most religious parts of the country. Requiring people to sign documents like this is something I never heard of until after I left my faith. These documents are always shocking when I read them.

    2) These documents indicate excessive control because they ask members to relinquish legal rights they have. In return for this, the church only makes 2 promises, both of which are flimsy as hell. The kind of stuff they’re asking for is massive in relation to what they are promising. This adds to the shock value of the documents.

    3) From what little research I’ve done in the last few minutes (read: Googled it and looked at stuff), the definition of cult is a bit flexible. Certainly I think these documents raise enough concern that anyone who might have family that attends this church should consider asking that family if they know what they’re getting into.

    I do have some offhand experience in helping people avoid a cult (it’s kind of a long story). Many cults have an open door policy, but in practice they put a lot of pressure on people not to leave. Is there any evidence of that here?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      August 13, 2015

      I don’t know. They’re reasonably small, so there’s not much more information available. I did gather from their calendar that they try to keep people perpetually involved. Meetings for men, meetings for women, meetings for couples together, meetings for children, bible study groups, even car-washes. That sort of calendar means that outside of work people’s lives are limited to that group and its ideology.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. acflory
    August 13, 2015

    Reading that covenant, I can’t help feeling it’s more scam than cult. Some of the ‘leadership’ may be fanatically religious, but I suspect most have simply found a winning formula for acquiring money and power – mix religion with gay-bashing and stir until frothy. Sad.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      August 13, 2015

      Let’s hope Australia agrees with you!

      Like

      • acflory
        August 13, 2015

        We do have a speaking-in-tongues fringe but despite our beloved PM and his issues, we don’t seem to have as many gay-bashers. -fingers crossed-

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: My Sincere Apologies to the People of Australia for Inflicting Katy Faust Upon You | Just Merveilleux

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